I'm sure that everyone at some point in their lives have had the thought: If only (you can fill in the blanks). Or when I get this, I will do that... If only I made more money, I'd be able to go on that vacation I have dreamed of... When I earn my degree, I'll get a job that is more rewarding... When I have a bigger place, I can buy the dog I have always wanted.
You get the picture. Very often we project ourselves into the future at our own expense. You see, while all our energy is spent anxiously awaiting something that is not reality in the present, we are sending ourselves the message that we are living in a less-than-perfect life right now.
For example, I have heard many cancer patients outline in great detail all the things they will do when they beat the disease or when their treatment is over. They pledge to help in any way they can, to donate or raise funds that will go towards cancer research. They will go to church every Sunday. They will approach every relationship they have with honesty, depth and respect. They will stop ALL bad habits that may have caused the disease to begin with.
The same thing happens with runners. What runner has not been in a runner's slump? I know I have. It normally happens after a race. You're motivated and dedicated to your training schedule before race day, but once the race is over, what then? You skip a day of training here and there and end up in an endorphin-starved slump. Then you start thinking, when I find time to research and look up other races I may be interested in running, I will be more consistent in my training.
But all this wishful thinking may be holding you back. What is wrong with the present? Why not start right now? Cancer patients can start helping other patients in need, even while they are undergoing treatments themselves. This could even end up being mutually beneficial to them both. If they can't make it to church every Sunday, they can set some time up for quiet meditation or prayer at home. They can start reading about healthy eating and researching the right form of exercise for their body. Or they can smile at the patient in the waiting room on the oncology floor.
Runners can motivate themselves between races by finding a running partner that will encourage them to lace up for that run. They can also make a list of races that they can slowly work through. This may help them avoid that slump. Maybe you can spice up your training runs by adding some variety.
All these actions will help keep you in the present. Your "present" will no longer be as disappointing to you because you are no longer wishing for something in the future. As hard as this may be for someone who is suffering from an illness or experiencing frustrations of any kind, your life can only become more positive and fulfilling. You will experience feelings of contentment or being complete. You will be grateful for even the smallest or insignificant things in your surroundings because you will notice them, as well as many other things that are in your present life.
And things will fall into place... in all aspects of your life. Because if you remain in the present, believe that good things will come your way and truly love the life you're in, the future will take care of itself.